Which kit would you choose? (4 stick vs 2 stick question, again)

tzl99

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Joined
Oct 25, 2007
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Hi all (and Happy Thanksgiving!),

Without getting into a 32 GB vs 64 GB argument, which of the following kits would you use for Ryzen 3 with a X570 based board (knowing that everyone would rather choose Samsung B-die):

Model F4-3600C16Q-64GVKC
(4x16 GB kit, Timings 16-19-19-39, Voltage 1.35V)

Or

F4-3600C16D-64GVK
(2x32 GB kit, Timings 16-22-22-42, Voltage 1.45V)

The former has tighter timings and might run at a lower voltage. But I have not had any modern AMD systems and wonder would those timings being possible with all 4 DIMM sockets populated? I keep getting mixed messages about the Ryzen memory controller having more trouble with 4 vs 2 sticks at rated speed. But I see plenty of people using 4 sticks. In general my preference would be fewer sticks and lower voltages, but if there is no disadvantage to having 4 sticks in this case, then I should choose the kit with tighter timings. I'm hoping for a relatively plug and play memory configuration. I doubt I would overclock the memory further, though I might spend a day or so trying to tighten timings if possible.

Since I can't find any Ryzen 3 processors I'm not in a hurry since it looks like I may have to wait until spring 2021 to complete my build, but I like to have components picked out ahead of time.

Thanks for any advice,
LT.
 

tzl99

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Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
45
Hi again (and now Merry Christmas!),

I finally ordered a 5900X today through Amazon though expected shipping isn't until the 3rd week of Feb 2021. I am still not sure which memory kit to buy, though I now have a 3rd option. I've been reading a lot of MB reviews over the last 4 weeks and I've been paying attention to Ryzen 5000 owners' signatures (on this and other websites) and I do see many people running 4 DIMMS. So I know the IMC can handle 4 DIMMS but I haven't seen a lot of 16GB DIMMS used and I am not sure if they run at their rated speeds.

I also think the final answer probably depends on the MB chosen and I haven't been able to select a MB so far. My last 3 MBs have been Asus products but lately I've been thinking maybe I should try MSI (Tomahawk is now in stock).

I figure I might be able to buy both kits, try each and return the one that doesn't run at the rated speed. I also just noticed the Crucial Ballistix 64GB kits (BL2K32G36C16U4BL).
Crucial Ballistix RGB 3600 MHz DDR4 DRAM

This is a 2x32GB kit but runs at better timings (16-18-18-38) and voltage (1.35 V) compared to the comparable G.Skill 2x32GB kit (16-22-22-42, Voltage 1.45V). Is anyone running this kit with an X570 based MB at those timings/voltages? If so, what MB was used?

Thanks, if anyone has any input/advice. Happy Holidays!

LT.
 

tzl99

n00b
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
45
Hi again (and Happy new year!),

Unbelievably the 5900X that I somehow managed to snag on 12/24/2020 showed up on my door today, thanks to DPI. It wasn't supposed to be here until around Feb 21, 2021 but I received an updated shipping notice from Amazon today and found it on my doorstep tonight. Unfortunately, I wasn't planning on it arriving so early and I don't even have a motherboard, memory or a power supply.

I've decided to probably try out the Crucial Ballistix 3600 memory as it has reasonable timings. On Crucial's compatibility list they list the memory as compatible with a number of Asus and MSI boards that I've been looking at. I'll probably buy directly from Crucial and if it doesn't workout I may be able to change it.

Once I get the build together, maybe in the next few weeks, I'll just finish this thread with a final update on whether the CPU can run the memory at the specs. Now, I just need to figure out if I'll buy another Asus board or my first MSI board.

If anyone has any final warnings about the Cruical Ballistix memory let me know. Thanks.

LT
 
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pitingres

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No direct experience here, but it sounds like the memory controller in Zen 3 is a bit better able to handle 4 sticks as compared to earlier gens. Zen 2 was also a big improvement over Zen/Zen+ in that area. I'd still lean towards 2 sticks instead of 4, all else being reasonably equal.
 

tzl99

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Joined
Oct 25, 2007
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No direct experience here, but it sounds like the memory controller in Zen 3 is a bit better able to handle 4 sticks as compared to earlier gens. Zen 2 was also a big improvement over Zen/Zen+ in that area. I'd still lean towards 2 sticks instead of 4, all else being reasonably equal.

Hi,
Well I hope so. I ordered the Crucial Ballistix kit on the weekend directly from Crucial since they had it in stock. I just received a tracking # out of Brownsville TX a couple of hours ago. My motherboard shipped out today from Newegg but the power supply is still processing from Corsair. I have an older 750W power supply I may use for testing if it is delayed. Hopefully in 7-10 days i can confirm that the memory will run at advertised speeds. Thanks for the response!

LT.
 

thesmokingman

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Messages
6,617
Neither of those kids are very good. It's not about four sticks vs two, it's about the ranks and the density. The higher the density the harder it is on the memory controller. Four ranks is the sweet spot, it doesn't matter if it's two or four sticks, though at higher density it will make it harder. More importantly be prepared for issues and lowered speeds with 32gb dimm density.
 

tzl99

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Messages
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Neither of those kids are very good. It's not about four sticks vs two, it's about the ranks and the density. The higher the density the harder it is on the memory controller. Four ranks is the sweet spot, it doesn't matter if it's two or four sticks, though at higher density it will make it harder. More importantly be prepared for issues and lowered speeds with 32gb dimm density.
Hi thesmokingman,

So you think the memory won't run at rated speed? In the past I've had good luck with Crucial/Micron memory. However, I admit it has been a LONG time since I had an AMD system, with the last one the old Athlon X2s. In general I guess I've never had to worry about memory with Intel systems. Every system just ran memory at rated speed just enabling XMP and I've never had issues. Though I don't remember having trouble with the old AMD systems either.

I did read a lot of Ryzen and poor memory controllers but I was hoping that might have passed after the 1st Gen. I was just hoping that I could run 64GB at DDR3600 speeds, which I thought might not be a stretch. I see other people running memory at 3600, 3800, and sometimes 4000+ and not everyone seems to be using Samsung B-die.

My motherboard came today, my CPU came last Thursday, my memory was shipped out of Texas Monday and might arrive by Friday. Corsair has its thumb up its butt and the power supply is still "booked" and not even shipped or packed though it was ordered 4 days ago. If my memory comes, I think I have an old 750W PS laying around to possibly at least try to run the system this weekend. I can at least see what the BIOS shows for memory speeds/timings.

Is there a 64GB kit, under $500-600 that might be able to run on an X570 at 3600? Or can only 32GB kits hope to run at 3600? Thanks for any advice,

LT.
(Edit: Wanted to post that I did buy the NON-RGB memory kit. And I don't need any lighting on any memory kit suggested. Thanks. LT)
 

thesmokingman

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Hi thesmokingman,

So you think the memory won't run at rated speed? In the past I've had good luck with Crucial/Micron memory. However, I admit it has been a LONG time since I had an AMD system, with the last one the old Athlon X2s. In general I guess I've never had to worry about memory with Intel systems. Every system just ran memory at rated speed just enabling XMP and I've never had issues. Though I don't remember having trouble with the old AMD systems either.

I did read a lot of Ryzen and poor memory controllers but I was hoping that might have passed after the 1st Gen. I was just hoping that I could run 64GB at DDR3600 speeds, which I thought might not be a stretch. I see other people running memory at 3600, 3800, and sometimes 4000+ and not everyone seems to be using Samsung B-die.

My motherboard came today, my CPU came last Thursday, my memory was shipped out of Texas Monday and might arrive by Friday. Corsair has its thumb up its butt and the power supply is still "booked" and not even shipped or packed though it was ordered 4 days ago. If my memory comes, I think I have an old 750W PS laying around to possibly at least try to run the system this weekend. I can at least see what the BIOS shows for memory speeds/timings.

Is there a 64GB kit, under $500-600 that might be able to run on an X570 at 3600? Or can only 32GB kits hope to run at 3600? Thanks for any advice,

LT.
(Edit: Wanted to post that I did buy the NON-RGB memory kit. And I don't need any lighting on any memory kit suggested. Thanks. LT)
Oh, it's not really about the quality of the memory. It's the imc that is the limit. On all systems, Intel or AMD, the higher the density, the harder it is on the imc. With 4x16gb, it's not worth it to buy 4000mhz memory because the imc may not even run at 3600mhz. And you have the number of ranks to consider. Four ranks gives the best performance and you can hit that by using two dual rank or four single rank sticks. Since you are using 16gb dimms, those are most likely dual rank and with four sticks you'll be at eight ranks so speed will not be on your side anyways. The sticks you picked are probably hynix or micron, they're not bad so they'll probably work ok. You just have to realize that they might not hit that 3600mhz target. A more realistic speed would be 3200mhz. Most Zen 2/3 imc's will max out around that speed. There's an AMD chart out there but I forget where I found it last time that shows the memory configs and what the specs are for that density. Iirc maxed out memory configs have a specification of 2667mhz. On my TR3, I run 8x16gb with expensive gskill B-dies and all I can get is 3400mhz and TR3 imc is very good but it's the limiter in the all cases.

For ex. Ryzen 1 memory support chart. Ryzen 3 has a much improved imc so the dual channel, dual rank, 4 dimm speed is higher, as I wrote iirc it is 2667mhz.

ddr4-memory-support.jpg

Edit, found the Zen 2 chart.

 
Last edited:

tzl99

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Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
45
Wow thesmokingman,
That was a very helpful post! I'll keep it in mind and see if I can get 3200. If so, I can later try to see if I an raise it slowly without loosening timings too much.

To learners permit, I ultimately bought the MSI X570 Tomahawk as it was in stock on Newegg last weekend. Hopefully, it will be fine. I've downloaded the latest bios on a FAT32 USB2 stick and will try to flash it this weekend. I've read good things about this board, though I've typically liked Asus due to the layout of their bios screens. I debated splurging on an Asus Dark Hero board but I can't find it and if this MSI board works ok then I can spend the money on more storage.

Thanks again thesmokingman!
LT.
 

tzl99

n00b
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
45
HI, and one final post,
Just for closure, I want to say "yes" a X570 MB can run the Crucial Ballistix memory in post #2 (though non-RGB version) above at the rated speed & timings by just using the XMP profile and no other tweaking. I was surprised as I thought it may only run at 3200 MHz or slower with that density, or I would have to loosen timings further but it did not seem to be the case.

A lot has happened between Jan 6, 2021 (last post) and now and much I don't even want to talk about. Essentially I am not using the Ryzen 9 5900X that took 6 weeks to buy and the Tomahawk is gone. The processor used for testing was a plain Ryzen 5 3600 with the MSI X570 Unify MB.

To summarize, I put the Crucial Ballistix 64 GB kit in the MSI X570 Unify motherboard, using the latest Jan 2021 bios from their site. Upon first bootup of the Ryzen 5 3600 and both sticks of memory installed, all 64 GB of memory was recognized though running at 2666 MHz.


I went to the OC setting, and just picked Profile 1. For some reason the board has 2 profiles for that memory but both seemed to have the same settings. In any case, I saved settings and rebooted.

Upon Reboot the memory settings in the BIOS were DDR-3600 MHz with the settings of 16-18-18-38 running at a reported 1.36V. So it did not take any tweaking, so I would assume the Ryzen 5000 series should do the same easily.

I've only tested the memory for 1 day so far. In the BIOS it has those ratings. I then tested with using the Passmark Memtest86 on a USB stick for 12-13 hours which is how long 4 runs took on 64GB overnight. No errors in the AM. Memtest also reported the same speeds.

Then I did a quick install of Win 10 and tried HCi MemTest. The free version only could allocate about 3.2 GB but the readme says I can start up multiple instances of the software to test more and more memory. I was able to run about 14 instances of the software using about 44-45GB of the memory. Doing that pegged the CPU at 100%. I went out for some errands and when I came back all the instances have completed with no errors.

Finally, I installed the latest CPU-Z and it also verified the settings of 3600MHz, 16-18-18-38 and with that running at 1T command rate.

So I'm done, this thread can be closed. Hopefully it lets someone else who might be concerned about the Ryzen memory controller's ability to run 2x32GB memory kitas at 3600 Mhz and CAS16. I had read so many things that left me confused, but with the hardware listed it was as easy to setup as my previous Intel systems. Thanks all,

LT.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
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Feb 1, 2005
Messages
27,473
Glad it worked out for you. I only have two memory slots in my ITX board, and I was looking at a good 64GB 3600Mhz kit. I'll have to look at Crucial (although at $350, maybe not).
 
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